Here's a link to the audio podcast of the interview I did with Coleen Rowley on October 16, 2013, shortly after she'd returned from her Moscow meeting with Edward Snowden.
R.K.: Welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching metro Philly and South Jersey, sponsored by Opednews.com. My guest tonight is Coleen Rowley. She's a retired FBI agent and former chief division counsel in Minneapolis. She's now a dedicated peace and justice activist and board member of the Women against Military Madness. Welcome to the show! Welcome back!
C.R.: Thank you for having me again, it's been a little while.
R.K.: It has been, I think the last time we actually saw each other face to face was back down in Occupy Washington D.C. in October of two thousand and eleven. It's even longer back since I had you on the show so I am glad you're here and I think when we first met it was at a Whistle Blower conference in D.C. where we were both speaking and then we spent a day walking through the halls of Congress doing some lobbying to try to get some advocacy going for Whistle Blowers
C.R.: Right, yep, and of course the story never ends because now there has been a new Whistle Blower making dramatic disclosures and hopefully with some cautious optimism here, I've got my fingers crossed, that maybe this time some reform of this horrible subverted rule of law that we have right now can occur and we can kind of get back to a little normalcy.
R.K: Lots of subverted, perverted rules of law. So one of the reason I invited you on the show is because you recently traveled to Moscow to present an award to Edward Snowden. Can you tell us about the award?
C.R.: Yes, four of us, and actually not all of us were Whistle Blowers but we're all members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, this was a group founded mostly by Ray McGovern, based on his colleague during the Vietnam War by the name of Sam Adams who was the CIA analyst who discovered that the Generals were pretty much halving the number of the Viet Cong enemy troop strength.
The reason for doing that was because they were trying to project progress, especially right around nineteen sixty seven when people were getting tired of the war, they were always giving out this message that we are killing so many enemy and that the enemy troop strength is diminishing to show progress was being made.
Well this CIA analyst Sam Adams traveled to Vietnam and discovered that it was really twice as many and this is kind of the surprising part, there were meetings behind closed doors for several months discussing this finding that the enemy was much more numerous and more of a challenge than they apparently had considered and there was a military colonel or something on the side of this Sam Adams but by and large the majority wanted to go with the general, and they didn't want to tell the press that the North Vietnamese forces were that large.
So actually Westmoreland lied and he went out at certain point in sixty-seven and just arbitrarily halve the number. This story is all in a book entitled War of Numbers and it's kind of a chronology of Vietnam. The upshot of this though was that the CIA analyst that was Ray McGovern's friend regretted to his death, and he went to an early death, too, at age fifty five, trying to write a book about this. He went on "60 Minutes," too I should say, after Vietnam was concluding and he was a witness in Daniel Ellsberg's trial so there were things that were accomplished here in getting the truth out, but still it was not timely and the Vietnam Wall has maybe double the number of names on it simply because they covered up the truth about this in sixty-seven.
So it's based on that true story and in order to honor the memory of Sam Adams, for ten years now or more, someone -- and it's not always a Whistle Blower but largely it has been -- many of the Iraq War Whistle Blowers who knew, of course, shenanigans that were going on, lying, Katharine Gunn in England knew that the United States was pushing the secret U.K. agencies to monitor and to bug, to place secret listening devices on U.N. countries, on the various countries in the U.N. Security Council in order to coerce them to vote to give permission to the United States to go to war.
In fact she was honored, she was like the second or third Whistle Blower that was honored, so there has been a series of Whistle Blowers. And sometimes even people inside government who merely had to fight and were successful in getting out accurate intelligence and analysis instead of these concocted things.
So that sort of stays done, and of course Edward Snowden was selected in July of this last year for his speaking truth to power and letting the American public know what the NSA was doing in monitoring and collecting all of this irrelevant data, and it's key to understand that, it's not relevant, it's all mostly irrelevant data on innocent people and so we gave him the award but then we couldn't figure out exactly how to get to Moscow. Took a little while to make the arrangements and we just went there a few days ago and were able to meet with him.
We had several hours that we were able to meet with him, give him the award, tell him he's not alone and you know, kind of also discuss some of the famous, historical figures who themselves were in similar predicaments as he is now, but ultimately history gets it correct, sometimes it takes a little while but ultimately the person who is doing the right thing is vindicated. So we talked about that, we talked a lot about the whole situation of seeking reform of this massive dragnet surveillance that's going on, it's not even only just the NSA, it's all of these other intelligence agencies as well. So, we had a great opportunity and now we are, our group is committed to following through and keep pushing for these reforms.